Nano-Probes Allow to See Tumors Through Skin

Roland Piquepaille writes "Nano-sized particles embedded with bright, light-emitting molecules have enabled researchers to visualize a tumor more than one centimeter below the skin surface using only infrared light. An interdisciplinary team from the Universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota have imaged tumors within living rats by embedding fluorescent materials into cell-like vesicles called polymersomes, which are composed of two layers of self-assembling copolymers. According to the researchers, this imaging process has the potential to go even deeper. And "it should also be possible to use an emissive polymersome vesicle to transport therapeutics directly to a tumor, enabling us to actually see if chemotherapy is really going to its intended target." Read this overview for other details and references, including a picture showing how these nanoparticles are used to image a tumor beneath the skin of a living rat."

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